We all want to eat healthy food, but on a busy weeknight, that can be easier said than done. However, we’ve got some juicy and healthy weeknight meals here for you to make mealtimes easy and vibrant with colorful veggies.
1. Quick and easy stuffed squash
What better way to enjoy squash than to fill it with a tasty combination of lean ground meat such as turkey or chicken?
This recipe serves 4 people.
- 2 medium acorn squash, or 1 large butternut squash, cut in half and deseeded
- 1 handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 pound ground turkey or chicken
- 1/4 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced
Preheat oven to 400°. Trim the bottom of each piece of squash so that each will lie flat on a shallow roasting pan, hollow side down.
Pour in hot water to fill 1/4 inch of the pan, and toss in the tomato pieces and bake for 45 minutes.
In the meantime, sauté the onion, meat, and seasonings for 10 minutes over medium heat till the meat is cooked. Add the spinach, cook, and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
Take the squash out of the oven and drain the water from the roasting pan. Keep the tomatoes to one side. Return the squash to the roasting pan and stuff the pieces with the meat mixture, topping with the tomatoes and the cheese. Bake for 5-10 minutes more, or till the cheese is melted.
Serve with a side salad and enjoy!
2. Quick chicken tagine
Tagine is a fabulous meal that’s easy to make. Here’s how. You can use a Dutch oven or a cast-iron tagine pot like the one here: https://unocasa.com/products/tagine-pot.
This recipe serves 4 people.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 chicken thighs, without skin, boneless
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 1 pound carrots, topped, tailed, and cut into slices
Optional serving ingredients
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- Slices of lemon
- Cooked couscous
Heat the vegetable oil in your Dutch oven or cast-iron tagine pot and saute the chicken for 2 minutes to brown it lightly. Add the onion and ginger, and let fry for 2 more minutes.
Pour in the water and remaining ingredients (except for the parsley and lemon). Stir well, then bring to a boil. Cover, then simmer for 30 minutes or till the chicken is tender.
Serve with the couscous, topped with parsley and lemon slices.
3. Pan-seared fish
Fish can be one of the quickest yet healthiest meals to prepare, and this one is no exception. Fish is full of protein and low in fat and contains omega-3s, which are an excellent brain food.
This delicious fish recipe serves 4.
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 6 scallions, finely chopped and divided in half
- One piece of ginger, grated (a 1-inch piece)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds of cod (no skin, no bones), cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Rinse the rice, then drain it and put it in a saucepan. Add 1 1/4 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Cover the rice and reduce to low heat, letting the rice cook till the water evaporates (about 20 minutes). Remove the rice from heat and set aside (keep the cover on).
Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil with the ginger. Add the salt and pepper. Add the cod and toss to coat the fish with the oil.
Heat the other tablespoon of the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the cod pieces and cook for 2 minutes till browned underneath. Turn the fish over and scatter half of the scallions on top. Cook for 2 more minutes and remove from heat.
Combine the honey with the vinegar in a small bowl. Stir it into the cooked rice, then add the pieces of butter and the rest of the scallions. Let the butter melt, then transfer the rice mixture to a platter.
Serve the rice platter with the fish placed on top. Pour any juices that remain in the pan over the top of the fish.
There you have it, three delicious and healthy meal ideas for those busy weeknight meals!